This disturbing Associated Press article, describes how Kalispell, Montana, known for its rugged beauty, filled with pristine lakes and streams, gateway to Glacier National Park, may become a hotbed of anti-government extremism.
Note the sign in the picture above. These were anti-wolf protesters outside The Russell Smith Federal Courthouse in Missoula, Montana last year. Is it any wonder wolves are being scapegoated and demonized in Montana?
Extremists finding fertile ground in Northwest US
KALISPELL, Mont. – With its jagged peaks, glistening lakes and lush valleys, the Inland Northwest — stretching from eastern Washington to Montana’s Glacier National Park — is a stunningly beautiful and remote part of the country.
It also is a cradle for sometimes-violent anti-government activity — a reputation most recently rekindled by the search for David Burgert. The former Kalispell militia leader is accused of opening fire on sheriff’s deputies on a remote logging road in Lolo National Forest.
After a lull following the demise of the Idaho-based neo-Nazi Aryan Nations in 2000, anti-government and white supremacist groups and individuals may be reviving in the Inland Northwest. It’s a mostly white, mostly rural area with few job opportunities and a history of extreme activists.
Experts say the number of radical right groups is growing across the country because of the poor state of the economy, rising immigration and fears that President Barack Obama’s administration has an agenda to curtail individual liberties.
Bill Gibson wrote about this in his article, Cry,Wolf, appearing in the current Earth Island Journal. The pieces are coming together concerning anti-government feelings in the Flathead Valley.
The “Flathead” is home to wolves . They’ve lived in the North Fork of the Flathead since the late seventies, early eighties, when they dispersed on their own from Canada. They wouldn’t have made the trip without the protection of the ESA. Now that has been stripped from them and they are at the mercy of extremists who are using gray wolves as the poster child for their hate.
This is a grim time and every wolf advocate who cares about wolves needs to stand up and be heard. HFJ and WW has plans for a new pro-active way to show support for gray wolves that we will unveil next week.
Don’t let these extreme elements dictate how our wildlife and wild places are handled. It’s up to us, the grass-roots wolf movement, to speak out for wolves in their dark hour.
For the wolves, For the wild ones,
Photo: Courtesy Missoulian
Posted in Wolf Wars
Tags: extremism, Flathead Valley, Glacier National Park, Hate groups, Montana, Montana Human Rights Network, Northwest Montana